Mmegi Online :: UB financial crisis self made – Madigele
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Last Updated
Friday 21 September 2018, 15:09 pm.
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UB financial crisis self made – Madigele

The Minister of Education, Research, Science and Technology, Dr Alfred Madigele says the University of Botswana (UB) financial woes are self-inflicted. Madigele said the UB was currently on a shoestring budget owing to a “unilateral decision to increase salaries by 35%”.
By Baboki Kayawe Tue 19 Sep 2017, 16:22 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: UB financial crisis self made – Madigele








It has emerged that UB is struggling financially and cannot maintain equipment nor train staff.

Madigele told Mmegi in an interview on the backdrop of his recent visit to the institution where management pleaded with the government for an increase in funding, that the UB management decision was unwise.

“The UB took a decision at some point to increase salaries by 35% and that increased the wage bill exuberantly, and it is unsustainable,” he said.

Madigele repeatedly said UB took an independent decision to hike salaries without engaging government. Moreover, the minister said while he was to present UB’s additional funding request to government, the institution must consider third stream revenue opportunities in the meantime.

“They have a hotel and conferencing centre, a sports facility so they need to consider other revenue generating alternatives.

Government is also on a shoestring budget so there is need for UB to explore other avenues,” the minister said.

He added that the next UB Council meeting will discuss new strategies to revolutionise the university, and the issue of funding will be interrogated further.

This week, acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Kgomotso Moahi appealed to the government to revise the budget because with the current ceiling of P703 million, the university was hamstrung to maintain equipment nor train staff because of operational costs, which were way above funds allocated.

Moahi said the idea was, however, not to make the university entirely dependent on government since they were working on a plan so that 50% of the funds come from government, 25% from tuition and the rest from a

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third income stream they will put in place.

She said ultimately the aim was to come up with initiatives, part of which were to formulate an entrepreneurship strategy that will help the university identify ways and means to generate income. In the process of reviewing the strategic plan, key amongst the initiatives was to ensure the university had multiple financial streams.

In 2015, the UB teaching and support staff got a morale boost after an unprecedented 35% salary hike.

In spite of Madigele’s utterances, the then assistant Minister of Education and Skills Development, Kgotla Autlwetse told Parliament then about what he called “the devastating difference between academics salaries at UB and Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST)”.

Autlwetse told parliamentarians about the big disparities in the payment of lecturers at UB and BIUST. Parliament also learnt that BIUST could pay up to 40% of the salary as supplementation. “

“The University of Botswana pays between P25, 546 to P32,525 per month to senior lecturers, while Botswana International University of Science and Technology pays their senior lecturers P39,695 per month,” Autlwetse told Parliament.

Parliament was informed by the Assistant Minister that associate professors at UB get paid between P30,936 and P35,532 per month, while BIUST pays them P49,969.

The issue of BIUST and UB salary disparities was brought to the attention of Parliament through Dithapelo Keorapetse, a Member of Parliament for Selebi Phikwe West and former UB academic.

There was a concern from MPs that the BIUST academic staff was entitled to lucrative allowances including the allowance for housing.

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